The north-west London zebra crossing traversed by the Beatles one bright morning 41 years ago - and visited by musical pilgrims ever since - has has been granted Grade II listing.
The heritage minister John Penrose took the unusual decision to protect the crossing, which provided the cover shot for Abbey Road album, following advice from English Heritage.
Although the listing is the first of its kind, the Abbey Road studios where the 1969 album was recorded, won similar recognition this February.
Sir Paul McCartney, whose barefoot stroll across the road gave rise to all manner of absurd conspiracy theories, welcomed the news today. "It's been a great year for me and a great year for the Beatles and hearing that the Abbey Road crossing is to be preserved is the icing on the cake," he said.
Penrose said that while the crossing was "no castle or cathedral", it had "just as strong a claim as any to be seen as part of our heritage" because of its link to the Beatles. He added: "As such it merits the extra protection that Grade II listing provides."
Roger Bowdler, head of designation at English Heritage, said: "the crossing continues to possess huge cultural pull — the temptation to recreate that 1969 album cover remains as strong as ever."
Excerpt from the article by Sam Jones, at Guardian.co.uk